2014 Kentucky Derby parties in Brooklyn – where to watch the Derby


The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 3. We’ve got our money behind Wildcat Red. And when we say ‘watch the Derby,’ we really mean ‘drink mint juleps during the day in a pastel dress or blazer.’ Hopefully, the lime shortage won’t put a damper on the festivities.

Pete’s Candy Store, Free from 3-7pm:

Whether you’re routing for California Chrome, Wicked Strong, We Miss Artie, or one of the other contenders, Pete’s Candy Store is an odds-on favorite to serve up a Derby good time. In addition to viewing the Run of the Roses with fellow enthusiasts, you can learn something new from Pete’s Paddock, enter the Idiot Stakes, or partake in the ladies millinery competition, which rewards the best-hatted with a beer tab. Mint juleps are of course the libation of the day and a bluegrass blue-plate special stocked with Bourbon Glazed ribs, Louisville Potato Salad and Derby Pie is available at an affordable price. It may not be Churchill Downs, but Pete’s always does an excellent job of summoning the equine spirit.

Mable’s Smokehouse, Free, starts at 2pm:

Mable’s Smokehouse on Berry Street may be a three-year-old foal, but it leads the field when it comes to Southern food — one of the owners is even from Louisville. The party starts at 2 pm, and will include juleps and derby pie.

Kent Ale House Free, starts at 2pm:

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby and the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” will take place this year on Saturday, May 3rd. With 11 flatscreen TVs, 24 craft beers on tap, and a full menu, Kent Ale House is the number one sports bar in Williamsburg to spend the day. We’re expecting a large crowd, so call or email us at kentalehouse@gmail.com to make reservations. Make sure to check us on out Facebook, too, for updates as we get closer to the race!

Further away for us in North Brooklyn, Union Hall is having a party too (free, at 1pm):

The fun starts at 1pm! Races shown all day on the big screen PLUS:

– $100 Prize for Best Hat
– Call to Post by Live Bugler
– Enjoy a Game of Corn Hole Toss!
– Burgers and Dogs from the Grill
– $6 Mint Juleps

Update: here’s a couple more:

298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, (347) 335-0446.
Take a nostalgic trip at this Brooklyn bar, which eschews oversized HD flatscreens to air the epic race over the radio instead. Nosh on oysters, Kentucky “hot browns” and pecan tarts with bourbon whipped cream. After you try all seven of their $9 juleps (such as the “High Stakes” mixed with Crème de Mure and Blackstrap bitters), it won’t matter that you can’t see the race — or see straight, for that matter. Free admission; 2-8 p.m.

555 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn
Rider up! This bar built into a former auto body shop near Green-Wood Cemetery hosts an annual “Brooklyn Derby” featuring a tricycle race before the mane event. There’s also a build-your-own-hat station, games of cornhole, live bluegrass from the DeLorean Sisters and live jazz from Dandy Wellington and His Band, plus a four-hour open bar and buffet. Bring some cash to place your bets, and get ready to let the good times roll. Tix are $60; 4-8 p.m.

UPDATE 2…. Brokelyn has a few more:

Custom House (139 Montague St, Brooklyn Heights; $50 adv/$60 at door)
You’re likely too broke for this because this is Brokelyn you’re reading and this is Brooklyn Heights we’re talking about, but the price of admission is for a cause: the Junior League of Brooklyn (fancy ladies doing good–like volunteering and landmarking shit). Obligatory gendered prizes for best hat/fascinator on a lady and best-dressed gentleman. Small plate of hors d’oeuvres complimentary with price of admission, but you’re on your own for ordering Champagne by the bottle at the bar. Elitism commences at 4pm.

Hank’s Saloon (46 3rd Ave, Boerum Hill) FREE
FREE SANDWICHES at the afterparty! Who ever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch? How about a free dinner? Certainly not the kind folks over at Hank’s, who’ll be serving up the Southern version of the cucumber sandwich, Benedictine (mostly cream cheese with a little bit of cucumber juice and onion) spread on white bread as well as the Dixie delicacy roadkill stew known as burgoo. All this while rocking out to a self-proclaimed math-punk band right out of Louisville: the perfect way to unwind after a day of horse racing. The debauchery kicks off at 8pm.

The Graham (151 Montrose Avenue, Williamsburg)
Oh sure some of those other bars will give one person a $100 prize for dressing the best, but you’d rather leave the competition to the horses. In that case, hit up The Graham dressed in your finest Kentucky dandy duds and you can get yourself a free mint julep. Money saved on drinks means more money for gambling!

Floyd (131 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn Heights) Union Hall (702 Union Street, Park Slope) FREE
Sister bars Floyd and Union Hall are having dueling Kentucky Derby parties. Well, maybe not dueling, since they’re just each having a party for the convenience of the people who live nearby either one. Both parties have hat contests and $6 mint juleps. The differ in that you can get free beer cheese at Floyd and you can play a game of corn hole at Union Hall. Both parties kick off at 1pm, so should provide plenty of time for day drinking.

South 4th Bar (90, South 4th Street, Williamsburg)
South 4th Bar’s Cinco de Derby weekend is for the overachievers among us. Beyond a celebration of the Derby itself, where you can win a bar tab for being the best dressed man or woman among the drunken crowd and slurp $2 Juelp Jello shots, the bar will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo by offering $5 margaritas from now through Monday night. Shout at the horse in English and in Spanish, either way, it won’t know what you’re saying.


  1. This is a pretty good list. If you can hit even one of them it’s a guaranteed good time, and if you can hit a few of them then you’re doing Derby Day right! Mint Juleps on me!

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